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Thursday, January 26, 2012

SP Setia climbs to 6-month high

With a higher buyout offer in place and an assurance that its chief Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin will continue to helm the company, SP Setia Bhd's stock climbed to an almost six-month high yesterday.

State investor Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) roped in Liew as a joint bidder and improved on its last September solo bid of RM3.90 a share for the property developer last Friday.

The joint bidders are now offering RM3.95 for each SP Setia share and 96 sen for each warrant, instead of 91 sen before.

The stock rose by 1.5 per cent to close at RM3.94 yesterday, off an intra-day high of RM3.97.

Analysts from RHB Research Institute and MIDF Research said the offer was "fair" and advised minority shareholders to accept it.

Both raised their target price for SP Setia to RM3.95 to match the offer price.

"The revised offer will be a win-win situation for both parties as PNB could leverage on Liew's expertise in the running of SP Setia while SP Setia will have the backing of a strong shareholder," MIDF said in a note to clients yesterday.

HwangDBS Vickers Research, meanwhile, raised its target price to RM4.50 from RM3.90 and said investors were better off holding on to the shares given that there will be management continuity for three years.

Under the new deal, Liew will keep his 8.56 per cent stake in SP Setia and remain as its group president and chief executive officer for three years, during which he will have sole responsibility for the mana-gement and general conduct of the business.

No changes will be made to the board, and PNB will keep its two board seats.

"We welcome this news as it removes uncertainty over the future of SP Setia, particularly with regard to Liew's involvement," Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd (HLIB) .

With PNB's backing, analysts believe SP Setia stands an even better chance when bidding for government land parcels.

MIDF Research said the offer is fair given the current uncertainty in the world economy and the normalising growth rate of the property sector.

"From last week's briefing, Liew indicated that SP Setia is soon signing the Bangsar land deal, which is estimated to yield a gross development value of RM10 billion.

"However, in the near term, outlook for the overall property sector will still be rather challenging, and we thus advise investors to accept the offer," RHB Research said.

The deal is expected to be completed by end-March.

By Business Times

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